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Local Youth To Rally Against Tobacco At State Capitol
Students from around the state, including OHS students in the group, rally on the steps of the state capitol as part of Youth Quest in this photo from 2012. Seven OHS students will travel to the Capitol this year again on April 8 to march, rally on the Capitol steps, and hold a press conference on tobacco use prevention. - photo by Photo Courtesy Of Linda Dodge

More than 200 Stanislaus County youth, including seven Oakdale High School students, will travel to Sacramento on Monday, April 8 to rally against the tobacco industry and promote local tobacco use prevention efforts.

Students participating in Protecting Health And Slamming Tobacco (PHAST), a countywide local Youth Coalition, will join hundreds of youth from around the state at the 14th Annual Youth Quest, slated to take place from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at The Grand, 1219 J St., Sacramento. The students will march from the Masonic Temple to the west steps of the State Capitol.

Youth Quest is organized and hosted by the California Youth Advocacy Network (CYAN) and focuses on empowering youth to advocate for a tobacco-free California. This year’s theme is, “Clean Air for All to Share: Protecting Everyone from Secondhand Smoke Exposure.”

In the morning, participants will learn about secondhand smoke issues and local actions to protect communities from exposure to secondhand smoke. Youth will also get tips for meeting with elected representatives. Following lunch, participants will march to the west steps of the State Capitol to participate in a rally and press conference with youth speakers. After the press conference, groups will have the opportunity to meet with at least one of their state legislators concerning youth tobacco issues.

PHAST is a partnership of the Stanislaus County Office of Education Tobacco Use Prevention Education (TUPE) program, Stanislaus County Health Services Agency, Tobacco Education Program and Memorial Medical Center. According to Prevention Programs staff, the success of PHAST is due to the strong partnership of these three agencies.

For more information contact Charmaine Monte at (209) 238-1368 or Elizabeth Escalante at (209) 238-1382.